Lloyd Foster (December 15, 1938 - November 21, 2015) was an American
professional boxer who fought as a light heavyweight and heavyweight.
Known as "The Deputy Sheriff", Foster was one of the greatest light
heavyweight champions in boxing history. He won the undisputed light
heavyweight title from Dick Tiger in 1968 via fourth round knockout,
and went on to defend his crown fourteen times in total from 1968
to 1974. Foster challenged heavyweight kings Joe Frazier and Muhammad
Ali during his career, but was knocked out by both fighters (the fight
with Ali was not for a world heavyweight tile, but for the reional
Foster retired from professional boxing in 1978,
at the age of 40.
Foster started his professional
career on the night of March 27, 1961, against Duke Williams in Washington,
D.C., winning by knockout in two rounds. The first 12 bouts of his
career were spent campaigning in the United States' Eastern coast
and in Canada. In his tenth bout, he made his first of multiple forays
into the Heavyweight division, and suffered his first loss, at the
hands of Doug Jones by a knockout in the eighth round.
two more wins, he went in 1963 to Peru, where he lost to south American
champion Mauro Mina by a decision in ten rounds at Lima.
more fights back in the States resulted in quick knockout wins for
him and then, in 1964 he made his second attemp at entering the heavyweight
rankings, being knocked out in the seventh by future world Heavyweight
champion Ernie Terrell. He finished the year by posting three more
knockout wins at Light Heavyweight, two of them in the month of November.
The night of November 11 was Foster's first fight of note as a light
heavyweight. One month after knocking out Don Quinn in the first round,
he stepped up in the ring again and faced former world title challenger
Henry Hank. He beat Hank by a knockout in the tenth.
he defeated Leroy Green in two rounds.
By 1967, Foster, although
his attempts to become a top Heavyweight were being frustrated, was
a ranked light heavyweight. He decided to stick to the light heavyweight
division for the time being, and he won all seven of his fights, six
by knockout. Among the fighters he beat were Eddie Cotton, Eddie Vick,
and Sonny Moore. After defeating Moore, Foster was the world's number
one ranked Light Heavyweight challenger.
In 1968, Foster got his first shot at a world title. At Madison
Square Garden in New York, on the night of March 24, Foster became
world champion by knocking out Dick Tiger in four rounds. Tiger had
been a two time world middleweight champion and was defending his
world light-heavyweight crown that night. Foster then decided to box
at heavyweight once again, and beat future George Foreman victim Charlie
Polite by a knockout in three. He ended that year defeating Vick again,
and his future world title challenger Roger Rouse, both by a knockout.
In 1969, he began by rising off the canvas to knock out Frank
De Paula in the same first round and retain his belt. It is believed
that was the first time ever a boxer won a world title fight in the
first round after being floored in that same round.
next fight in 1969 was against Andy Kendall, whom he beat in four
rounds by knockout, to once again retain the crown. He closed the
1960s with two more knockout wins.
Frazier vs Foster
Foster made two more trips to the heavyweights. In the first, he beat
finge contender Lee Wallace in six rounds by knockout. This was followed
by a return to the light-heavyweight division to defend his title